Pondering in Oulu, on animals and life

When you get anxious in life, about having a plan, or feel confused – remember: where is it that we are going and hurrying to? Where do we “need” to be – other than where we are? We are constantly changing, and we do influence the flow, yet at the same time, we must go with the flow.


I was just in the library in Oulu, where I’m visiting my grandmother, relatives and friends. I was reading Jane Goodall’s and Dian Fossey’s memoirs of their time with chimpanzees and mountain gorillas. Ever so inspiring, to me, stories that many of us could share, be it through having done research, or work with animals otherwise, or work with humans, coming to the same conclusions.. share and be inspired by the connections experienced and lived with animals, and other living or non-living beings.

Jane Goodall wrote how at one stage, after losing her love to cancer, she was feeling sad and was finding solace walking with the chimpanzees that knew her in the forests of Gombe. The way they also seemed to revere the misty waterfall, clearly showing their respect or joy or however you would call it, then satisfied, climbed into a tree eating figs and just, that, being… Jane was wondering about it, and about how this world seems so full of concern, devastation, pollution, war and such things, and how one might feel so insignificant, so hopeless in the face of all of it.

Then she looked around, the chimpanzees.. here in the forest, at least, everything was peaceful, going on its pace, just as it is meant to.. just as life goes.


There can always be the doubts about whether or not our actions will make a difference – and sure as that, any one of us might die this next moment, and our “task” might be “unfulfilled”.. yet, that is the only thing we can do; keep going, keep doing. The way we see best. And everybody’s truth is different, yes, yet most of us agree and it is generally so that actions that clearly don’t bring benefit but rather bring destruction to ourselves or others are actions that we might avoid, if we overall are to support life. Even this is everybody’s decision, yet generally we rather do the actions that support life, and allow for others to keep creating as well, for how else were we to live on. And if we decide to live now, today, that maybe means we wish to live.. and so we are kind of committed to life, and that makes us responsible as well, for our actions, thoughts, ways of being, each day, with all the beings around us.

Jane Goodall thought at that moment, she felt like a “flame of fight” lit up again; she was determined to keep trying, even until the bitter end, doing from and with love for all those that live. Whatever little it is that each of us might do, we can only keep doing, it is like there is no alternative to that. I realize how she meant this, though I don’t think it is a fight we’re waging, for what are we fighting against? All that is taking place is taking place and is part of life.. But that we keep doing, surely so, and that we can keep considering each thought, action and bigger deed, is possible, is an option.

Everyone thinks differently.. for me, life is not only a thing that we follow, it is something we create all along.. that is what makes us responsible, for it starts with ourselves and reaches out to all that we touch, which is immeasurable.. so it is a practice, if one so chooses. To create, and to go with the flow, for we cannot know what is around the river bend.


What Jane Goodall learnt with the chimpanzees, or Iain Douglas-Hamilton with his elephants.. what those millions of people throughout time, whether or not their stories have been told or written for others to know, learnt and experienced in their lives.. the way in which things are connected, how deeply we can learn from any fellow being if we open up to listen; that is precious. Compassion can be the state of being, and it can bring interaction midst us that fosters well-being of all. Just as a way of thinking or being..

So we can keep discussing, doing, it doesn’t even matter whether or not we know the outcome because we can’t know it anyway, but none of it ever means that we couldn’t keep doing, whatever each of us deems right. Learning and exchanging, and that’s how we grow..

There was this Starfish Story online that moved me deeply the other day:

Starfish story

What difference do you make today? What difference does a stone make, laying on the shore.. 😉 Stones have whole lives of their own, I do believe, and if they could speak, what stories of beyond eons could they tell..!


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